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Metabolism boosting foods for women (and ones to avoid)

We all know that when we’re on our weight loss journey, it takes ages to notice a difference. It could be that you’re squeezing some HIIT workouts into your busy life or hitting the gym a few times a week, but your diet has a huge part to play in this too.

We can be grateful that thermic foods exist. These are foods that boost your metabolism, meaning you can eat good food and still shed the pounds.

Now, before you go adding all these thermogenic foods to your grocery list, let’s find out what metabolism really means.

Metabolism explained

Put simply, your metabolism is the rate at which your body burns calories. Sadly, this is more or less out of our control; but you can boost your metabolism with foods that have a high thermic effect.

There are many factors that affect how our metabolism works; these include your age, height and genes.

It’s hardly news that our bodies start to slow down as we get older, and sadly yes, we mean your metabolism too. As teenagers, we are more active and sprightly and therefore burn calories easier than someone in their 50’s.

Do not fret! There are ways to boost your metabolism and increase energy use. One way is exercise and hopefully you;ve guessed the other? Yep, you got it, it’s those thermogenic foods.

We depend on our metabolism for more than just weight loss, yet lots of us are unaware of how it actually works. Metabolism is required for getting through everyday life as well as things you wouldn’t even think of such as thinking, breathing, blood circulation, digestion and to regulate our temperature.

Metabolism primarily consists of our resting metabolic rate or RMR. This is the amount of energy our bodies use for normal body functions like breathing.

What impacts metabolism?

Something that plays a huge part in our metabolism is our genetics. Muscle mass also affects our metabolism as muscle burns more calories than fat, even when you’re resting.

Whilst you might not want to become buff and be a bodybuilding champion, building your muscle mass continues to enhance your metabolism, even after you’ve stopped exercising.

Are there foods that boost your metabolism?

In addition to regular exercise and gaining muscle, there are some foods with a high thermic effect that can help push your metabolism.

Sadly though, not only are there ones that can boost, there are also ones that can slow it down too.

Seeing as our bodies find it more difficult to process protein, it increases post-eating calorie burn by approximately 35%. So yes, protein can be considered a thermic food, but making sure you’re eating the right ones is vital.

What are foods that increase your metabolism you ask? Well, let’s find out.

Foods that boost metabolism

As we’ve already pointed out, protein-rich thermic foods can contribute to a boost in your metabolism. However, it’s not just about the types of foods, portion control is important too.

Portion control is so important because if you’re not keeping track of what you’re eating, you could easily be consuming too much and destroying your efforts.

Also Read: The best workout for busy women

Want to know what you should eat? Here’s some high thermic foods you can work into your diet.


An awesome source of protein and fat which keeps you feeling full. Tempeh is made from fermented soybeans and has a high probiotic content. This means it can better your gut health and raise immunity.

Studies have shown that adults who take probiotic supplements may lose weight more easily. When our overall health is good it can boost your energy levels, thus burning more calories.

If you’re wanting to know the best way to enjoy tempeh, you could crumble it onto a salad, add to a pasta dish or you could marinade and cook like you would chicken.


A low calorie food that’s also a great source of protein and some healthy fat, eggs have got to be an egg-celent high thermic food.

They’re a good source of B vitamins and will help keep those stomach gurgles at bay. High thermic foods very often contain B vitamins, this is because they can help convert foods into energy, therefore improving the process of calories.

So if you’re wanting to add high thermic effect foods into your diet, get eggs on the grocery list! Research has shown that those who ate eggs for breakfast 5 days a week lost 655 more weight.


Not only is milk a great source of Vitamin D and calcium, it also contains 9-10 grams of protein per cup, hence why it makes the list.

As well as providing us with vital vitamins, it’s essential for building dense muscle mass and keeping your metabolism boosted.

Top tip: Choose options lower in fat and add to hot beverages, cereal and oatmeal.


Avocados are definitely up there on our thermic foods list, and it’s no wonder with 2 grams of protein per half.

Also Read: 16 weight loss secrets you need to know about

They also help keep you feeling full for longer as they’re rich in polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats, therefore also boosting weight loss.

Avocados are also an anti-inflammatory food, this means they can limit any interfering inflammation and enhance your metabolism.

If you’re wanting to lose weight, be sure to keep track of your intake as ¼ an avocado has approximately 8g of fat and 80 calories.


Beans are an awesome source of amino acids and protein, they can also help maintain muscle mass and burn even more calories.

Thermogenic foods like these become a popular meal choice as they promote and conserve lean muscle mass as well as boosting your metabolism.

They’re also great at filling you up for fewer calories and contain a high volume of protein and fiber. Studies have shown that consuming ¾ a cup of beans or legumes daily has been found to contribute to weight loss.

Whilst there has been no great findings that beans are a thermic food nor do they guarantee weight loss, they do keep you feeling full – meaning you’re less likely to snack.

Want some ideas? Try adding beans and legumes to meals such as chilli, curries and salads.

Chili peppers

As well as being flavoursome, chillies have made it onto our list of metabolism boosting foods. According to research, capsaicin which is a compound found in chili peppers can elevate your metabolism which in turn, encourages weight loss.

Some people choose to take capsaicin supplements, but we’d recommend cooking up a storm of spicy dishes, cramming in as many thermogenic foods as possible.

Whole grains

Packed with fiber and great for filling you up, whole grains are also an anti-inflammatory. Similar to avocados, whole grains keep your metabolism working at its best.

Research has shown that those who switched from refined grain to whole ones saw an increase in RMR.

Not only are whole grains one of the best thermogenic foods, they’re also packed with essential vitamins and minerals such as fiber, protein, B vitamins and antioxidants. Get these into your meal plan and you’ll be lowering your risk of type 2 diabetes, obesity and heart disease.

Foods to avoid that can damage your metabolism

While there are plenty of thermogenic foods, of course, there are some that can potentially slow down your metabolism. We’ve put together a quick list of foods that can impact your ability to burn calories, so you know exactly what to avoid when grocery shopping!

  • Alcohol (and other sugary drinks)
  • Refined grains (over-processed foods)
  • Soybean oil

Without realising, many of us drink our calorie intake, especially after a few too many glasses of wine (or beer!). As well as drinks that are packed with sugar – such as sodas, alcohol and juices – refined grains are one of the biggest culprits for slowing down your metabolism.

When we talk about refined grains, we’re talking rice, white bread and processed foods such as baked goods. Not only is there minimal nutritional value, but these types of foods won’t keep you feeling full for very long.

Also Read: How to get a peachy butt and tone your glutes

Opting for whole grains over refined grains will keep you feeling full and keep your metabolism running high – For maximum calorie burn! So not only can you curb those urges to snack, but you can also burn more, therefore lose weight far easier. Another common culprit is soybean oil, which used frequently in cooking can lead to weight gain since it is high in calories and omega-6 fatty acids.

Ready to smash your goals, ladies?

Now that we’ve armed you with foods that boost your metabolism, you’ll be well on your way to achieving maximum calorie burn! With plenty of easy, thermic foods, knowing those to avoid can make meal plans – and your weight loss journey – much easier!

Need a helping hand? No problem, this is why we created PhenGold. Our 100% natural dietary supplement works to increase your metabolism, suppress those hunger pangs and double down on your body’s ability to burn fat.

Get ready to smash those goals, ladies, you’ve got this.



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Written by PhenGold

Written by PhenGold

We research and write articles about health, fitness and dieting. Each of our articles includes sources from scientific studies where possible.

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